Your communication strategy can become a financial boon or burden, depending on how you budget for your phone expenses. As you communicate to staff members around the world, you will need to set telephone standards, so that your company does not incur unnecessary expenses. Cellular roaming charges can rack up exponentially, causing your organization undue stress when the bill arrives. There are several measures your international teams can take to reduce phone expenses.

 

Monitor Your Mobile Settings

 

Company cell phones might connect to available cellular networks as your employees travel, causing them to incur roaming fees without their knowledge. Some smartphones will automatically connect to available 3G, 4G, or LTE bands to run system updates, download apps, and sync information. However, these small bursts of traffic can definitely add up on your company’s cellular bill. If your employees are using iPhones, open the Settings menu, tap “Cellular,” and switch off “Data Roaming.” If you are using an Android phone, open the “Settings” menu, tap “Wireless and Networks,” and uncheck “Data Roaming.” If you are worried about accidentally using data on your devices during travel, you can also deactivate data completely or remove your phone’s SIM card.

 

Use Online Communications When Possible

 

While you are traveling, think about the types of communications you need to have. Will you have Internet access via Wi-Fi or Ethernet during your stay abroad? Can you message be conveyed as an email, chat message, or Skype call? Think about your internal communication structures. What if you could communicate securely with co-workers through work forums or video conferencing channels? How urgent is the communication? Can you time your phone call for a later time, when you won’t incur roaming fees? Weigh the immediacy of these conversations before you pick up the phone.

 

Reduce Phone Expenses

 

If your employees are spending too much on phone communications, then you might want to consider a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. This can save your company thousands of dollars in hardware costs, since you will no longer have to provide employees with a separate work phone. BYOD also makes individual employees feel more accountable with their phone activities, since the phone bill is tied directly to their device. This can help you track down unusual expenses when employees request reimbursements.

 

BYOD policies can help you save upfront hardware costs, but you will need to set more security rules in place. Since people will be using the same device for personal and professional reasons, your IT department will need to set usage ground rules. They can use mobile device management (MDM) software to require secure passwords, control work app settings, and remotely erase phones in the event of theft or loss.

 

Get an International Toll Free Number

 

Sometimes you just can’t avoid international calls, especially when it comes to helping your customers. Studies show that customer service interactions end faster and on a positive note when people talk over the phone. Your most loyal customers can contact your organization with an international toll free number, and their call can be forwarded to helpful representatives. Having this human connection over the phone can resolve issues faster, turning customers into more likely promoters of your business. You’ll want to work with your phone operator teams to ensure prompt resolutions and timely service.

 

Reduce Phone Expenses

 

International businesses have to struggle with the upfront and long-term costs of communication, shipping, and travel expenses. Reducing your phone usage with mobile device settings, BYOD strategies, and toll free forwarding can greatly reduce the types of expenses your company incurs. Removing negative cash flow can help your organization invest in phone tactics that really pay off.